One dead, others injured in shooting during Kansas City Super Bowl parade

One dead, others injured in shooting during Kansas City Super Bowl parade

A parade in the United States to celebrate the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory has been interrupted by gunfire, with local police declaring that one person has been killed and others critically injured.

At a press conference in the hours after the shooting, Police Chief Stacey Graves confirmed the death, though she underscored that her department is still gathering information on the “number and status of victims”. She estimated that there were 10 to 15 people injured.

“At the conclusion of the Chiefs rally today, there were shots fired on the west side of Union Station,” Graves explained, referring to a historic train station in central Kansas City, Missouri.

“Immediately, officers responded to the area, took two people into custody and also immediately rendered life-assisting aid to those victims.”

She added that the investigation is still active and more updates were forthcoming: “We still have parties that are walking into hospitals.”

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas also spoke at the press conference, reminding the public that “this is a fluid situation, so all that we are sharing now may change as the hours go ahead”.

“This is absolutely a tragedy, the likes of which we would have never expected in Kansas City and the likes of which we will remember for some time,” Lucas said. He explained that he himself had been forced to flee when the shots erupted.

“I’m incredibly upset, disappointed. I was there with my wife, I was there with my mother. We never would have thought that we — along with Chiefs players, along with fans, hundreds of thousands of people — would be forced to run for our safety today.”

As news of the shooting broke, thousands of revellers were told to evacuate the downtown celebration area, where fans and American football players had gathered.

“Anyone nearby needs to leave the area as quickly and safely as possible to facilitate treatment of the shooting victims,” the police department for Kansas City, Missouri, said in a social media post.

A first responder looks at an IV drip for a woman whose leg is propped up on his leg. She wears a white sweatshirt and appears to be in pain. She sits on a bench with a man in a ballcap.
First responders treat the injured after a Super Bowl victory was interrupted by gunfire on February 14 [Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports]

Before the shooting, the day was one of jubilation, as Kansas City residents lined the streets to cheer on the Chiefs, an American football team, after their second victory in a row at the annual Super Bowl.

The event is the culmination of the National Football League’s playoff season and results in one team walking away with the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy.

At Sunday’s Super Bowl game, the Chiefs came from behind to beat the San Francisco 49ers in a squeaker of a game that was ultimately decided in overtime.

For Wednesday’s hometown celebrations, fans and local celebrities filled the centre of Kansas City, where cannons fired confetti and DJs played music. The players themselves piled into double-decker buses to lead the parade and wave to fans.


— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) February 14, 2024

However, that mood of celebration quickly turned into fear, with police officers rushing towards the area where the shooting took place with their guns drawn and ambulances quickly arriving.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly was at the scene and described what she experienced on social media afterwards.

“At the end of the Chiefs rally, shots were fired near Union Station,” she wrote. “I have been evacuated and am out of harm’s way.”

Mayor Lucas said at Wednesday’s press conference that 600 Kansas City police officers were present at the event, as well as 250 from “outside agencies”.

“I’m angry at what happened today. The people who came to this celebration should expect a safe environment,” Police Chief Graves said. “Because of bad actors — which were very few — this tragedy occurred even in the presence of uniformed law enforcement officers.”

Graves added that she had heard rumours that fans “got involved in the apprehension or the pursuit of one of the suspects”. But, she added, “I cannot confirm that right now”.

Kansas City police said that “child reunification stations” were set up at the main entrance to Union Station and at 2301 Main Street.

“We still have several needing reunification,” the department. Police also asked witnesses to the shooting to go to a corner near Union Station.

Three police officers stand in an empty field surrounded by empty Solo cups after gunfire dispersed a Super Bowl celebration.
Police respond to the scene of a shooting that disrupted Super Bowl festivities in Kansas City, Missouri [David Rainey/USA TODAY Sports]

The players and Chiefs staff who were present at the celebration also took to social media to express their sorrow after the attack. None were among the injured.

“Praying for Kansas City,” Patrick Mahomes, the team’s star quarterback, wrote.

Another player, linebacker Drue Tranquill, likewise offered prayers “for all the victims in this heinous act”.

“Pray that doctors & first responders would have steady hands & that all would experience full healing,” he posted.

The Gun Violence Archive, a research nonprofit, has tallied 48 mass shootings so far this year in the US, defined as incidents where four or more people are struck by gunfire, not including the shooter. Mayor Lucas spoke to the high rates of gun violence in his remarks.

“When you have people who decide to bring guns to events, when you have people who are deciding to try to mar events — celebratory ones like this one — all of us start to become members of this club that none of us want to be a part of, which is those who have experienced mass shootings,” he said.

“I hope, for Kansas City, this is one of the last times we experience those.”

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